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Thread: Hard drive crash problem.. TRAINZ files lost..need help !

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    Default Hard drive crash problem.. TRAINZ files lost..need help !

    Hello. My nerves are shot. I have a frustrating PC and Trainz situation I'd like to share.

    2017 Lenovo PC Windows 10

    Background :
    A few days ago, the electricity went out in my house while I was on the computer and shut everything down. After power was restored, I rebooted the PC and everything looked normal but the START menu button didn't work, INTERNET EXPLORER and a few other functions on the desktop tool bar didn't work, such as the volume control. I also discovered that files in the TASK MANAGER that should be viable in the PROCESSES tab were gone, I could still run TANE and other programs including the internet.

    Trying a bunch of procedures recommended online to get the START MENU and everything else mentioned back to normal, nothing I tried worked, including a scan using the POWER SHELL method. One optioned I tried was to correct the problem in SAFE MODE. The start menu worked, Internet Explorer worked, and the files were back showing in the TASK MANAGER, but when I did the normal reboot, the problems were back.

    The next possible solution suggested was to do a RESET for Windows 10, but I would have to re-install all my programs. Instead of doing that, I tried another suggestion to download a program that was supposed to correct the problems I had. I downloaded the program, rebooted the computer and now I'm getting an unfamiliar blue screen asking me for my Windows password. My password that always worked before wasn't recognized and now I couldn't reboot the computer at all, not even in SAFE MODE.

    The next morning , being completely frazzled, I found a computer repair place that told me to bring it in. This was the closest PC repair place and it was 20 miles away.

    I brought it in and they told me the problem might be easily fixed, but also gave me the worse case scenario, being that I might need a new hard drive and fresh Windows install, which would cost around $300, including labor.

    I replied that I doubted the hard drive was fried because I could still run my programs, including TRAINZ. I told them I had lots of programs that I didn't want to lose, and I knew I could still access them if I could get the PC to boot up.

    They said not to worry, because if they had to put a new hard drive in, they could copy all my files and programs on the new one.
    They said they couldn't answer anymore questions without looking at it first, but would give me a call on my options.

    The next day I called them for an update. The receptionist tells me the person I needed to talk to wasn't there, but left a note for that "the computer is on the bench, my hard drive had to be replaced and would take most of the remaining day to finish getting all the files copied from my old hard drive." She says they were getting ready to close early for the day and to call back in the morning.

    At this point, I'm not happy about the situation. I was supposed to get a phone call first before they did anything drastic ( and more expensive ! )
    I'm feeling like I got suckered, but also mad at myself for trusting this place.

    I call back the next morning and talk to the technician, asking why they went to the " worse case scenario" without asking me first. He says that I'd given them the " go ahead" when I dropped it off, with his partner as a witness. LIARS !! He again says not to worry , that my programs would still be there, but just have to be reinstalled. My blood boiling, I paid them their $300 and left with my PC. I get home, boot it up and all my programs in the Windows / Programs files and Program files x86 folders are gone !

    I call them back and he says " you'll have to go to manufacturers who should have records of what you bought". I protested , telling him that many of my programs are over 15 years old and can't be recovered. He gets defensive, cops an attitude and says they can put me old hard drive back in, but says " it's shot" and I'd still be charged anyway because of the labor and new bench charge !



    Now I do have TANE backed up on an external hard drive, but the password that I use to get on the TRAINZ forums doesn't work. I also haven't backed up my route progress in a few months, so all that is going to be lost.
    I never used programs like ONE DRIVE to back these up. I never looked into it. I should have.

    I'm a total dumb azz for allowing this to happen and not keeping my back ups current. Maybe they're right in how they supposedly fixed the computer, but they weren't up front with me. Water under the bridge now........nothing I can do, being it's a " he said, she said" situation.

    So...... If you stuck it out this long, thanks for reading ! Yes, I'm a dumb butt.

    Suggestions please.
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    In addition to back-ups, I highly recommend you invest in a UPS. It does not have to run everything, just your pc and any external hard drivers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pitkin View Post
    In addition to back-ups, I highly recommend you invest in a UPS. It does not have to run everything, just your pc and any external hard drivers.
    That really is a good suggestion. I got a fairly cheap one about 5 years ago and a few months ago I discovered that the battery back up quit working. I should have replaced it right away.
    Do you have one you'd recommend ?
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    I'd ask for the old hard drive back. A hard drive with a frazzled Windows may still give access to the files on it.

    That said, I had something similar happen with an SSD C: boot drive and that really was toast. These days I don't install much of anything on my boot (Windows) drive except for those programs that don't give you the option.

    Paul


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    Quote Originally Posted by JimDep View Post
    That really is a good suggestion. I got a fairly cheap one about 5 years ago and a few months ago I discovered that the battery back up quit working. I should have replaced it right away.
    Do you have one you'd recommend ?
    APC has wide acceptance. Yes, you have to check the light to show it is operating properly.
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    I'd also go for getting the old drive back, if Windows won't read it sometime Linux will, using a live Linux CD or USB stick can work to recover the files or some of them.

    Sounds like the repairers haven't got a clue what they are doing, easier to just bung a new drive in than bother actually fixing the problem. Check your folders on that new drive, just in case they have dumped the files somewhere in some folder, I've seen that happen.

    By the sound of it as it did boot, just file corruption, if you can get that disk back and it still boots try the following.

    Reset this includes includes the option to Refresh the PC keeping your files intact and just repairing corrupt or missing system files https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/...dows-10-a.html this does work and retains your files and programs, it gets replacement system files direct from Microsoft.

    Or

    A repair install with an in place upgrade https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/...e-upgrade.html this also works and keeps your installed programs and files and programs.

    Keeping an image of your system drive with something like Macrium Reflect Free or Paragon is probably the least painful and quickest method to fix a corrupt system and or put it on a new disk, took 7 minutes here last time I had sort out a bad windows update, MS actually pulled it half an hour after I'd installed it and found it was a disaster, sometimes pays not to install updates until there are a few reports!

    Always better to use the Microsoft provided methods for cases like this rather than these extremely dodgy "fix it" programs which often either do nothing of any help or make things worse.
    Last edited by clam1952; August 14th, 2022 at 10:05 AM.
    Malc


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    Quote Originally Posted by JimDep View Post
    That really is a good suggestion. I got a fairly cheap one about 5 years ago and a few months ago I discovered that the battery back up quit working. I should have replaced it right away.
    Do you have one you'd recommend ?

    APC and Cyberpower are the ones I'll look at, can't say for anything else. You'll want to make sure its a pure sinwave as simulated waves you can run into issues like having your power supply unit burning out due to the simulated.
    My desktop I have a APC Pro 1500s and had it since 2017 / 2018 and it has saved my computer from the unexpected power outages. I go over with the power requirements by a bit so you have a buffer room should it happen when playing a game such as Trainz and need to save your route / session / etc before shutting down.

    My server uses an server / enterprised UPS from Cyberpower and it has been working well to keep my 2 servers running long enough to shutdown safely followed by shutting down the rest of the local network equipment. If curious its a OR1000PFCRT2U (I doubt you'll need this one tho )

    UPS usually comes with a software package that you can download from their website to use the more advanced features such as shutting down your computer after X minutes on battery automatically or to keep it running as long as possible before shutting down. Batteries for a UPS average 2-3years before you'll want to replace them at max charge available. I've been looking into replacing my original batteries (going on 5/6 years now) and couldn't find any replacements so either I'll need to do a unit exchange or contact the company to get a human.

    Overall if you have a desktop I highly recommend getting one. It'll help prevent the files from becoming corrupted which from your OP post that what happened.


    Also, ask for your old hard drive back as they can still get files off of it even if its on the last legs and I don't think you'll want them playing with the said files.

    Cheers

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    I agree pure sine wave is best, but it is better to have a a simulated ups than no ups at all.

    https://nerdtechy.com/ups-need-pure-sine-wave
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    Thanks for all the info, everyone. Much appreciated.

    Clam1952 and Paul, I did get the old hard drive back, but they told me that I could damage something else on the PC if I reinstalled it. I don't remember exactly what they told, just that it was a a bad idea. I'd gamble that they weren't being straight with me on that either.
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    Sounds like more BS to me. it was working but with fairly obvious file corruption even if it had damaged, sectors most of the data would probably be recoverable so unless they messed with it and broke something by taking it to bits I would think it should still work, got an old PC handy to test it in?
    Malc


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    Quote Originally Posted by clam1952 View Post
    I would think it should still work, got an old PC handy to test it in?
    I don't. I'd have to hook it back up to this one and I'm not sure what the risk would be, if any.

    Because of that bogus program I downloaded to try and fix the original problem, I couldn't get it to boot up, even in SAFE MODE without it needing my password, which it didn't recognize. I don't know if I'd have any better luck now, but maybe worth a try.
    Last edited by JimDep; August 14th, 2022 at 09:13 PM.
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    Always be distrustful of ANY program you download from the web. Run it through your antivirus scanner immediately after downloading it. Some can infect your computer even before you use A/V on it.

    Did you try both 'sfc /scannow' and the 'DISM' commands? They can scan your computer, locate bad or changed files, and attempt to replace them with good files. Instructions for both are everywhere on the web.

    Bill
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    What was this so called fix it program? probably a very long shot but just in case there is anything known about it breaking things and if it's possible to undo whatever it did in some way.

    Password not accepted in safe mode, see here: https://www.4winkey.com/windows-tips...-fix-it.html#4

    Load of how to videos on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...ws+password+10
    Malc


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    Thanks for your continued assistance. I'll give these methods a try and see if I can get the old hard drive back in and get it booted up in safe mode. It's disheartening to me that the computer repair place didn't suggest anything to recover these files from the old hard drive, knowing I needed them.

    I'll keep you informed. Much appreciated.
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    Most repair places have you sign a contract of some sorts. Buried down in the fine print is a disclaimer they MAY have to 'reinitialize" Windows. This means they'll reinstall a fresh copy and might even update it to current. This will, of course, delete your files. When you complain, they'll point to the escape clause. Most times, they don't even bother to see if they can revive a "dead" drive, they just go ahead and reinstall. I worked part time in such a shop and was nearly fired a couple of times for "wasting time trying to recover user files."

    Bill
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